Saturday, April 28, 2007

Grains of Sand

Dear Friends,
Some how, I feel eager to write. Eager to put pen to paper (fingers to keys) and a moment ago, I didn't know what to write about. But my minor (although writer's block can sometimes be major) problem was soon solved. This afternoon I went to the beach of Lake Michigan. I played in the sand with my adorable nephew and hansom brother, walked through the icy cold water, and begged my dad to take his shoes off. It was really fun! Digging your toes in the sand is a wonderful experience, once you think about it, and I did it today. I would grab handfuls of the grainy element, studying it closely (does this sound weird? Artists and writers really kind of go overboard with this stuff. Other people make fun of them for doing it). I was amazed at how many grains there were, and how many different colors were actually in the sand. It is mostly made up of these light, crystal colored grains mixed with a variety of other colors. The crystal colored ones seemed to be the dominant color. Black, dark brown, and orange (yes, I said orange) were some of the other colors mixed in. Being out in the open like that was really amazing. I could truly imagine the blue sky really being just a huge dome; and the world seemed amazingly big when I was out there, lying on the sand, staring into the wild blue yonder. The water was rolling in small waves, and I think I saw mountains or trees or something way off in the distance. It reminds me again how so many people think that the world evolved. Do you think that? Yes, you, who are reading this blog right now. Do you think that your hands and feet and the grains of sand on that beach and the birds in the air, and the dog down the street just evolved out of nothing?! Well, if you do think that, than it is wrong. I have studied science. It is a complicated matter. The human body and human health alone is a complicated branch of science. Very complicated. How could all of this have evolved out of nothing? It couldn't have. It's impossible. God created it, the whole world, in 6 days, and he rested on the seventh. I hope these thoughts have been beneficial and interesting to you.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sorrow and Writing

Hello again!
Today I am going to post some thoughts on sadness in writing. I do know a little about this, because in the book I am currently writing, one of my main characters' wife dies at the very first. Some may think, "Oh, how sad!" while others are rolling their eyes, saying, "Oh please, not again!" True, this idea has been used countless times, but you really do care if it was set up right. Many of us have become hooked on the suspense/action thriller 24. (Spoilers follow for those who haven't seen the 1st season.) Throughout the whole series, 24 focuses mostly on Jack Bauer, and all through the 1st season, his wife and daughter are in constant peril, while he is trying to save them and is stop a plot to assassinate the Senator. The whole thing is a cliff-hanger. And then, at the very end, when we are so sure that Jack and his colleagues have triumphed, than his wife dies. That's it. End of the road. She's dead, she was pregnant, it's all over for him. But he returns in the 2nd season (more spoilers) and now, he doesn't feel like he has a purpose in life, except for maybe his daughter, Kim, who now ignores him as much as possible. She doesn't want to be around her father, who needs her now more than ever! She is ignoring him for her own selfish reasons. Could things get any worse for beloved Jack, whom we now know and care for? Well, actually they could. This season, he is trying to stop a nuclear bomb from dropping on LA. At the near end of the season, he finds out that, even though they have the bomb, there is no way to disarm it. The only way is to fly it into a secluded area and let it, the plane, and worse, the pilot, blow up. Jack is the pilot. The best scene in the whole season is when he and Kim say good buy over the phone. Could you get any sadder? No hope. Not one tiny grain of hope, and then one of Jack's friends, who had been infected by radioactive material earlier in the day (he was going to die anyway) took out the plane and brought Jack a parachute. If Jack had died, 24 wouldn't have been the same, because he is basically the star of the show, and now, everybody likes him. (Why? Because they feel sorry for him and he tries to do the right thing. Most of the time, anyway.) Now, in my book, my main character is introduced, as is his wife, and then, they go on a fateful gallop over a muddy field, and her horse slips, and she breaks her neck. Although I didn't explain the death in extreme detail, I feel like it was effective, because I made my character's sorrow as sharp and apparent and bleak as I could. Out of five people that read it, two said that it nearly made them cry, someone else said that they felt for my character. I spent two pages letting my readers get to know my characters and letting them get to know their love for each other. This way, they felt for my character when she died. Deaths are very effective in literature, because it generally makes the characters involved sad, and often the readers as well. To write a good story, you have to be hard on your characters, especially the heroes. Heroines too, but somehow heroes just seem like they go over a little better. Believe it or not, I really enjoy writing really dramatic scenes. Especially sad ones! Or at least the ones that jerk tears from our eyes. I will post more thoughts soon!
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Word of the day and thoughts

Dear Friends,

The following word of the day post is a special request by my brother.
TROW
to believe, think, or suppose
This is a very interesting word that isn't used very much at all anymore. My brother found it in a book that has been around for over a hundred years, but you can still find the definition on dictionary.com.
Believe and think are beautiful words with good meanings. Suppose is perhaps a more subtle, boring word for meditation or imagine. 'Trow' in itself sounds like a boring word that probably has something to do with a boring object. But it really isn't. Trow, once you know the meaning and how to use it, is a good word and really an interesting one. If you have read any of my previous posts, than you know that I tell you whether, by my definition, a word is a 'cut of poetry' or not. In 2007, Trow may not be the most beautiful cut, but a hundred years ago, it may, in fact have been as beautiful as the words meditation, imagine, and ponder (more on this in a minute). 'Trow' comes from several much older words, such as the ME word 'trowen' and the OE word 'treowian' all meaning similar things. Trow is a very old, outdated cut of poetry. Although I have never used it before, it is an old poetic word.
ON 'PONDER'
Ponder is an interesting word once you think about it. It has also been around for a long time, but I think it is beautiful in both meaning and sound. Definitely a cut of poetry, mostly because of its meaning.
That is all for now, but I will post some more thoughts soon!
Anna Elizabeth Hedges
NOTE: Information on the word of the day is from dictionary.com

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hi

Hi!
I haven't been doing anything really exciting lately, but I have been doing a lot of reading. Next week I am leaving to go to Indiana to see my brother, sister-in-law, two nephews and new-born niece. I absolutely cannot wait to get there! I also can't wait for tomorrow to get here, because it is Saturday, and Saturday means no school. Plus, I get to see some of my friends tomorrow.

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering, outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.
~ Mark Twain*

I definitely love both dogs and cats. This quote is merely stating the characteristics of dogs and cats compared. Think of it; if we had animals that could talk, our dogs would talk all the time, like an eager child, asking to go play Frisbee, asking for a bone, asking for you to pet him, but the cat wouldn't talk like that. They would sneak around the house (like they always do) caring for nobody but themselves (at least always putting themselves first) and they would be speaking in mysterious riddles. Plus, they wouldn't ask you to pet or feed them, they would demand it. I think cats are such gorgeous animals, but I guess I have to agree with my brothers- cats don't care about anybody but themselves.
Really! Some cats can be really affectionate, but let's face it. Cats are really these lovable, arrogant brats that we just grow attached to.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges
*From quotegarden.com

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On books and writing

Hello! Today I want to discuss another quote and the thoughts that spring from it.

If there is a book that you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
~ Toni Morrison*

I must say that I completely agree with him! I have a book that I really want to read, but no one has written it yet, so it is mine for the taking! I am writing a book right now. I am not ready to post to much information about it on the blog yet, but I really enjoy writing (in case you haven't noticed yet). Writing a book is a great experience. You have to make up characters, plot, setting, morals, etc. There is another quote that says something like writers write what other people can't say. I find that if you have an obsession with something (owls, airplanes, kumquats) that it is a good idea to weave it into your story or piece of writing. Writing about what you like puts pep in your writing, and you enjoy it too! You never know when you may get an idea for something, or if your ideas will be sparked and lit by a movie or book. That is actually how I started writing; reading. Ever since I was little a wanted to write (although now my writing is a whole lot better and my stories come more from my own mind than from another mind ) and I now I really do write. One of my characters is actually based on a real person (no details there either) but all the others are pretty much from my imagination. Characters develop and change as I go; One character has a huge part in the book now, another character has a changed appearance and attitude , another has a changed personality, and several have been completely eliminated. I think that plotting is probably the hardest, because even if you have a whole lot of ideas, you aren't sure how to make them connect. Well, that's all for now, but more thoughts soon!
Anna Elizabeth Hedges
* From quotegarden.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On quote

I recently wrote about writing, cuts of poetry, and a quote. I have found another quote to help prove my point.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
~Charles Peguy*

Peguy explains exactly what I was trying to explain in one of my previous posts. Words have different meanings to us. Water may not seem like an extraordinary word to you, but after I think about it, it is a very good, important and (dare I say it?) a beautiful word. Water always reminds me of this pretty fantasy that we have of swimming underwater. I love swimming. It isn't entirely a fantasy, because we can swim under water, but imagine if we could breathe underwater! You are probably thinking, "What about snorkeling? Oxygen tanks?" But what if we could actually go under water and breathe without all of that equipment strapped on our backs? We can't. I have always had a fascination with water. I love the taste of certain different kinds of water. I love to be in the water, and I also really enjoy writing (thinking?) about water people, people that live in the water, breathe in the water, drink the water. Water nymphs really. I have a few of those kinds of characters in my book, and I have enjoyed thinking about them, thinking about their culture and lifestyle, about their mannerisms and personality 'quirks.'
But the next writer may say, "What a silly thought! Water is terrifying! Water doesn't even taste good. See this coke? Try that, it tastes better than water." I do think that water can be terrifying. But it is certainly fun! This person probably wrenches the word 'water' out of his gut. I, on the other hand, pull it out of my overcoat pocket. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts will effect the way we look at a word. An expectant mother may suddenly see the beauty of the words, baby, child, little, cute, soft. Young words. Ah-ha! Young words. That is such a pretty phrase! Young words. You probably have a great phrase buried deep in your mind, or even something that you say all the time, an expression you use. Writing is a very interesting world of possibilities, no matter what you decided when you were in school!
Anna Elizabeth Hedges
*From quotegarden.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Greetin's!
I thought I would let everybody know what I thought about American Idol tonight.
americanidol.com

Now, tonight I watched the whole thing.
Phil Stacey gave his best performance ever. It was pretty cool-- for him. He is definately not my favorite. He sang a Keith Urban song.

Jordin Sparks was great! She is one of my favorites, and the judges always like her. She sang a Martina McBride song.

Melinda Doolittle was probably the best except for Jordin. I have never heard the song she sang before, but it was called something like 'Trouble is a Woman.'

Blake was also really good. He sang one of my favorite Tim McGraw songs, 'When the Stars go Blue.' I didn't like the tempo he was singing the chorus to, but it was a good song.
That was just to name a few! Hope America makes a good choice this week. I don't vote.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today's word and PROSE AND POETRY

Hello again!
I thought it would be fun if I chose a word each day and let the world know my thoughts on it. So, today I will start.
Word of the Day and Thoughts:
LADY
I decided to tell you what I think about the word 'lady.' I think that it is a good word, but a really delicate, touchy one that needs to be handled carefully. The word 'lady' is used to describe a woman that you respect, a woman you like, often used in the phrases like 'young lady' and perhaps to often used in phrases like "Hey Lady!" or "Old lady." I think that lady is a touchy word because it sounds awkward and ugly when used in the two previous phrases. But when used in phrases like, "She is a nice lady," or "She is a pretty young lady isn't she?' it sounds a lot better. I think that Lady is a great name for dogs and horses. But sometimes, it just sounds a little too awkward to use in our modern language to me. Lady is a delicate word, and I think it is a good one to use. But I wouldn't pepper you sentences with it.
ON POETRY
Sometimes I say that certain words are "a cut of poetry." Any word can be used in poetry, but some words have this rhythm, sound, and meaning that make it a 'cut' of poetry. Someone once said that prose was words in their best order and poetry was the best words in their best order. I think that poetry cuts are like those best words. You may be thinking right now: "So how do I tell which words are cuts of poetry?" It is different with everybody. I know that, because I a few of my friends are writers, and they have different opinions than me on the same subject, because God made us different, or they believe a little different than me. It is the same with words. I may look at the word lady and like it. Another person can look at that word and love it. Another may despise it. Lady isn't a deep, thick juicy cut of poetry, at least not the way I look at it. It is more like a forgotten piece, one that not many care about any more, one that is used a lot, like the lawn mower or the skillet. You don't care about it near as much as other words, like 'water' or 'book.' I cannot honestly say that the word 'lady' is a cut of poetry, because to me, it isn't. A good word, but not a cut of poetry.

ON QUOTE
"I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is,
prose:words in their best order;
poetry: the best words in their best order.
-SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE*
This is a great quote. But I find one thing wrong with it. 'Prose: words in their best order;
Poetry: the best words in their best order.' They way Coleridge says it, he makes it sound like poetry is better than prose. They have their differences, obviously. Poetry "sings." Poetry has words that sing (remember, cuts). But prose can sing. Prose is different from poetry in the way that prose tells a story, and captures several moments in a row rather than just one. I do not think that poetry is overrated, but I do think that prose is a little underrated. Prose can be written poetically. Poetic prose is so much fun to read and write, because you create new flavors in the writing world, and you can really communicate emotions. It is hard to explain, but prose and poetry are really equals in the writing world in my opinion. Of course, prose can be really dull and boring, depending on the way it is written, but it can also be hot with emotions, plot twists, and poetry, weaved into the sentences. Poems are also used a lot in stories, such as LOTR, Brian Jacques, and their are some in Inkheart and even Phantom Stallion. Some prose is better than others. To each his own. I write more prose than poetry, but I am looking into it. Poetry does sing, but always keep in mind that prose can sing.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges
* The Poet's Notebook, created by David Stanford Burr

Hello!

Hello!
I have created this blog, and I intend to post my thoughts on words, life, books, movies, the book I am writing, poetry, theology, world view issues, etc. I hope you will enjoy the blog, and my thoughts that I put in it.
Anna Elizabeth Hedges